Effect of Calcination Temperature on Activity of Fe2O3-Al2O3 Nanocomposite Catalysts in CO Oxidation

Kremneva, Anna M.; Fedorov, Alexander, V; Bulavchenko, Olga A.; Knyazev, Yury, V; Saraev, Andrey A.; et al. Catalysis Letters. doi:10.1007/s10562-020-03250-8

Nanocomposite Fe–Al oxide catalysts were prepared by the melting of iron and aluminum nitrates with the subsequent calcination in air at diferent temperatures. It was found that the catalysts calcined at 450 °C are more active in the oxidation of CO than the catalysts calcined at 700 °C. X-ray difraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that all the catalysts consist of hematite, α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles, and Al2O3 in an amorphous state. Iron oxide is the active component, which provides the oxidation of CO, while alumina is a texture promoter. The increase in the calcination temperature leads to a minor increase in the average size of hematite nanoparticles and an insignifcant decrease in the specifc surface area. Kinetic measurements showed that the oxidation of CO over the Fe–Al catalysts calcined at 450 and 700 °C proceeds with the activation energy of 61–69 and 91 kJ/mol, respectively. This means that the low-temperature and high-temperature catalysts contain diferent active species. Temperature-programmed reduction with CO indicated that the decrease in the calcination temperature improves the reducibility of the Fe-Al nanocomposites. According to 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy, the low-temperature catalysts contain hydrated iron oxides (acagenite and ferrihydrite) and a signifcant amount of highly defective hematite, which is absent in the high-temperature catalyst. These species can provide the enhanced activity of the low-temperature catalysts in the oxidation of CO.